In the summer of 2017, my mask, Amirliq’ella Yua, ‘Cloudy Sky Spirit’ won the State of Alaska’s Contemporary Art Bank Call for Art. My mask was one of 18 pieces to be selected by a panel of judges for the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank collection. There thousands of pieces of artwork by Alaskan artists. State buildings, officials, Representatives, Senators and the Governor all obtain their pieces from the Art Bank.
The piece represents the Sky Spirit that takes the soul of a person passing and leads them into the next realm. I started carving this mask after my uncle passed away from cancer. Thinking that the spirit had led him on to the next life safely. Where one day I hope that the spirit will do the same for me to see him once again.
It was carved from Spruce root and painted with natural clays mixed with paint and adorned with white duck feathers. The face is split in to two and held opposite of each other on top of the three realms in Yup’ik lore. It took roughly 2 weeks of carving on and off for it be complete.
For the full story State of Alaska Art Collection – click here.